New Zealand unlikely to risk injured opener Martin Guptill against England


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The Independent Online

New Zealand are unlikely to risk injured opener Martin Guptill for the second Twenty20 international against England at the Kia Oval tomorrow night.

Guptill missed the Black Caps' opening five-run win with a hamstring problem and looks set to sit out again when New Zealand end their tour of England in south London.

"We need to asses Martin, he wasn't great today," New Zealand skipper Brendon McCullum said.

"The risk reward to roll him out for last game - we need to be wary of that."

Guptill hit back-to-back centuries to lead New Zealand to a 2-1 one-day international series success over England earlier this month.

His absence leaves New Zealand with a hole to fill at the top of the order, with replacement James Franklin falling for a first-ball duck last night.

Despite that McCullum hinted Franklin could be relied upon again to open with Hamish Rutherford, who was named man-of-the-match after he gave the tourists a flying start with 62 off 35 balls.

"If Martin is out we will have to look at that opening spot," McCullum said.

"I think James has done all right when he has opened for us. He got out first ball - that can happen."

McCullum joined Rutherford in a quickfire 114-run stand to set the basis for victory and, while the skipper is the top-ranked Twenty20 batsman in the world, he admitted it was him who had been led by his young partner's belligerence.

"At the start didn't feel like a 200-run wicket," McCullum said. "Then Hamish played a few shots and that [confidence] permeated through the order.

"The way he payed showed us that going for your shots was the right way to go about it on that wicket."

New Zealand's success was built around their young players with Tom Latham and Corey Anderson, who bowled the final over, also providing significant contributions.

Latham was handed the gloves by McCullum and while he missed a simple stumping off Alex Hales he took a sharp catch to remove England top-scorer Luke Wright (52) to help shift the momentum.

His late run out of Jos Buttler, when his under-armed to the non-striker's end, was also critical before Anderson defended the 16 England needed in the final over despite seeing his first ball sail for six.

"I thought Corey did a brilliant job at the end in his last over," McCullum said.

"As for Tom Latham we gave him the gloves because it was an opportunity for him in a pressure situation against a good team in front of a big crowd.

"I thought after he missed that stumping he did a really good job and he contributed too with his batting at the end."